Hello everyone, I know when you look at these photos you may think that the “Rambling Rose” column has changed into an obituary column. No fear, I promise that is not happening. It was Memorial Day weekend, and since it is impossible for me to name all of our friends and your friends and family members that we have lost in the recent months and days, I thought I will stick with the entertainment side. Entertainment is really my professional thing, so I want to acknowledge some of the people/artist, who we know you may be familiar with who has recently passed away.
To all my readers and followers who have lost someone since this terrible coronavirus pandemic started, please know that you and your family are in my prayers. Hopefully we can get pass all of this terrible situation and began to smile and just remember your loved one in a positive way, remember the good times; think of something about them that will put a smile on your face.
Whit Williams, another friend and musician passed away May 21, 2020. He was such a gentlemen. He was a legendary saxophonist, educator, composer and arranger. He lived in Baltimore and was a part of the jazz scene for many years. In 1981, he founded the “Whit Williams’ Now’s the Time Big Band” and the group performed with Aretha Franklin and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. In 2008, he released the album, “The Whit Williams Now’s The Time,” featuring Slide Hampton and Jimmy Heath. My condolences to his family and his music family.
Even though some of our counties and our state has opened in some situations, the Covid-19 has still caused the cancellations of jazz and music festivals that we would normally attend this time of the year. It’s disappointing news for the state of Rhode Island. The Newport Folk and Jazz Festival that was set to take place at Fort Adams this summer, has been canceled. All ticket holders for this festival have the option of a 100% full refund if desired. The Newport Jazz and Folk Festivals were created by George Wein (now 94 years old) in 1994 and 1959 respectively. These festivals are two of the largest running music festivals in history.
Kevin Barnes, a member of Jimmy Briscoe & the Little Beavers passed away May 14, 2020. Kevin sang baritone for the famous recording group. The group members were Jimmy Briscoe, Stanford Stansberry, Kevin Barnes, Maurice Pulley, and Robert Markins were the original Jimmy Briscoe & the Little Beavers. Bobby Finch replaced Markins in 1977. Condolences to his family.
The 2020 Hampton Jazz Festival known for bringing the best of jazz, blues, soul, and R&B to Hampton Roads has announced that it is also canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic and has been postponed until June 2021. Refunds will be issued automatically for those purchased online through Ticketmaster. Refunds for tickets purchased at the box office can be obtained by returning the purchased tickets once the office opens up to the public.
The 28th Annual Capital Jazz Fest, originally scheduled for June 5-7, 2020 at the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland has been postponed. This is one of my favorite festivals. Each year in early June, tens of thousands of music lovers from throughout the country flock to the suburbs of Washington, D.C. to attend “the jazz festival with soul”; The Capital Jazz Fest started in 1993, this multi-day multi-stage outdoor music festival, which attracts music lovers nationwide, is more than just a concert, it’s an event! It’s a place to people-watch, eat drink, shop, mingle, relax, soak in the rays, make new friends, and of course hear some of the coolest jazz and soul music on the planet. In-between musical sets, enjoy fine art and crafts at the Festival Marketplace, culinary treats at the food court, and meet & greet the artists. Hopefully next year we all can be there.
The 2020 French Quarter Festival and Satchmo Summerfest have also been officially canceled. Satchmo Summerfest, a celebration of the legacy of New Orleans native Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong, is generally the first week of August at the Old U.S. Mint. The free French Quarter Festival, which draws hundreds of thousands of attendees every year with a program consisting almost entirely of south Louisiana musicians.
We try not to ever miss the New Orleans Festivals. My “Boo-Boo” and I go every year to these festivals to cover the exciting events for my “Rambling Rose”column. . We love New Orleans, it is always full of life, fun, live entertainment on every street corner and happy people. Now, the new 2021 dates for the festivals are April 8-11 for French Quarter Festival and July 30-August 1, 2021 for Satchmo Summerfest. The French Quarter Festival followed the same path as the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, the Essence Festival of Culture and the Buku Music + Art Project.
Oh well, I know I should be trying to put a smile on your face and talking about something positive, but this were the cards I was dealt. So in the meantime, stay strong, safe and healthy. And remember, if you need me, call me at 410-833-9474 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. UNTIL THE NEXT TIME, I’M MUSICALLY YOURS.